, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 317-328

Late Glacial and Holocene chironomid assemblages in Lac Long Inférieur (southern France, 2090 m): palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic implications

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Changes in lake water temperature and trophic states were inferred using chironomid fossil assemblages from Lac Long Inférieur (Southern Alps, France). In the Late Glacial, a colder period, possibly analogous to the Younger Dryas, is characterised by a peak in Micropsectra, a cold stenothermic taxon. The increase in temperatures during the Late Glacial interstadial is indicated by a decrease in the percentages of cold stenothermic taxa (Tanytarsus lugens/Corynocera oliveri grp.) and by an increase in taxa linked to the development of vegetation in the littoral zone. The beginning of the Holocene is marked by the presence of taxa adapted to warmer and more eutrophic waters. During the Holocene, the progressive warming of the climate and increase in lake trophic status were indicated by the increase of eutrophic and warmer water indicators. An increase in tributary inflow into Lac Long Inférieur was also inferred by the increase in rheophilous taxa, reflecting increased snowmelt. During the Subatlantic, the composition of the chironomid spectra suggests a re-cooling of the climate and/or a decrease in lake trophic status.